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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
2.1 Poverty prevalence in Nigeria and experience of older adults
2.2 Social policy for older adults: The Nigerian situation
2.3 Social policy for older adults and global experience and application
2.4 The benefits of social policy to older adults across the globe
3.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
3.3 STUDY POPULATION
3.4 SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE
3.5 DATA FOR THE STUDY: INSTRUMENTATION
3.5.2 VALIDITY OF INSTRUMENT
3.6 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
4.0 DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.2 DATA ANALYSIS (QUESTIONNAIRE)
SUMMARY CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
An important element in the concept of life quality is satisfaction, which is an important driving force in life and an important factor of an individual's personal stability as well as a multi-layered indicator of the quality of life and personal well-being (Starc & Zabukovec,
2013a). Ramovš and Lipar (2013) are of the opinion, that the satisfaction with one's life is represented by an individual's wellbeing due to experiencing one's own life as in accordance with one's own needs and wishes. A satisfied person has a positive attitude towards one's own life. Old people are a group, which is according to the income and material indicators a group more vulnerable than the rest of the population (Hlebec, Kavčič, Filipovič Hrast, Vezovnik, & Trbanc, 2010). Poverty represents a socio structural problem, as life in poverty is specific and therefore also the ways of coping with it are specific. The latter depend on social power, access to resources and on possibilities for a way out of poverty (Leskošek, 2012). A higher degree of risk of poverty is present in older women (Filipovič Hrast & Hlebec, 2015).
Aging is common to mankind. Aging is a process which takes place during the entire life span of all organisms. In recent years the science of gerontology and the process of aging have been expanded. This recent interest in aging and the aged stems largely from the fact that the proportion of old people in our society is increasing at a very higher pace. Senior citizens constitute a very vital segment to society. As the world‘s population ages and people live longer, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that older people enjoy a good quality of life and experience especially a positive subjective well-being. Satisfaction with life and contributors to well-being in very old age constitute a major concern for the elderly population as well for gerontological research.
Life-satisfaction is one of the indicators of ̳apparent’ quality of life. Together with indicators of mental and physical health, it indicates how well people thrive. Life-satisfaction is the degree to which a person positively evaluates the overall quality of his/her life as-a-whole.
Life satisfaction is the sum totals of perceptions of an individual towards his various aspects of life. Life satisfaction among the elderly is an important concept as it gives us an overall view of the adjustment as well as adaptive coping ability of the individual. The level of satisfaction among the aged effects not only their psychological adjustment but also physical, emotional and social well-being.
The quality of life and satisfaction with life in old age is strongly influenced by a healthy lifestyle. Hlebec, et al., (2010) state, that also an old person can importantly contribute towards the maintenance of one's own health. Davies (2011) claims that with a change in lifestyle, such as for instance with healthy nutrition and physical activity, we can importantly promote healthy ageing and improve the quality of life of the elderly. Golob (2011) states, that healthy, balanced nutrition, regular and moderate physical activity, as well as one's connection with one's surroundings, less stress and maintaining one's mental health are the key to one's healthy and active old age.
Healthy nutrition is according to the opinion of Bilban (2010) a basic prerequisite for the maintenance of an individual's health, well-being and for a quality life in the old age. In order for an old person to remain healthy, the nutritional status is of utmost importance. The eating regime of an old person and their nutritional status is importantly influenced by physiological, psychological, economic and social factors. (p. 40) Physical activity and eating habits are the key factors that enable the old people to remain physically and mentally healthy and protect themselves from the development of chronic diseases (Zurc, Hlastan-Ribič, & Skela-Savič, 2015). Unpleasant emotions like concern, sadness, anxiety, restlessness, pain, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, tiredness, feelings of guilt, shame and fear, which can appear also in old age, are by many suppressed by alcohol consumption. All these emotions are, however, a sign that warns us that something is wrong. (Židanik, cited in Sabotin, 2015) Excessive alcohol consumption in old age can also lead to alcohol addiction.
Ageing is not an entirely negative process according to Oladeji (2011), rather it is the final phase in human transition which requires integrated continuum of social support, social security, social services and other welfare services to enable older adults age gracefully. In the past decades, the world has recorded drastic increase in population of older adults as a result of improvement in living conditions and better health care services (Kinsella & Phillips, 2005).
Globally, the current number of people who are 60 years and above is over 800 million and the figure is expected to increase to over two billion by 2050 (United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2012). Nigeria is not exempted in this current trend because population ageing is gradually becoming an issue of concern in many developing countries. Available data show that
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world with an estimated population of 173.6 million people (United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], 2014). Meanwhile, the population of Nigerian older adults 60 years and above was 8.8 million in 2012 and projected to be 28 million by 2050 (United Nations, 2012).
This entails that in Nigeria, the number of older adults to be supported and cared for will grow significantly in nearest possible future (Okoye, 2012). This will certainly have implication on the economic, health and social issues for all age groups across the nation hence, the social policy that addresses the well being of older adults is important. Also, the increase in the numbers of older adults inevitably will bring about an increase in the range and intensity of their problems and needs (Olubunmi, 2012). Therefore, this study focuses on the impact of gender, age, marital status and job status on life satisfaction among the elderly in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Chen's (2001) study of the aging process and life satisfaction concludes that not only the age effect but also cohort experiences have an impact on life satisfaction. This finding is to a certain extent, supported by Mroczek and Spiro's (2005) analysis of age and cohort effects among male war veterans, which shows not only that life satisfaction peaks at around 65 years but also that impending death is associated with a decline in life satisfaction that is not attributable to (self-rated) physical health.
In Africa, particularly Nigeria, many older people reach retirement age after a lifetime of poverty and deprivation, poor access to health care and poor dietary intake. These situations leave them with insufficient personal savings and poor psychological outcomes (Charton & Rose, 2001;
Kimokoti & Hamer, 2008). The increasing problems associated with ageing are attributed to modernization and its attendant undermining of family structure and lineage systems (Jiloha, 2009). Research has further shown that there is an inverse relationship between modernization and family support for the elderly (Jiloha, 2009; Ting, 2012) and this result in low level of well-being (Asante, 2004).
Considering the job status of most elderly over the years in the society, this results in lack of economic society for them during their old age, gender disparity also makes it impossible for most elderly women to experience social and economic security in the society. These problems necessitates the need to carry out a study on the impact of gender, age, marital status and job status on life satisfaction among the elderly in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the impact of gender, age, marital status and job status on life satisfaction among the elderly in Nigeria. The specific objectives include the following:
1. To ascertain if there is an influence of age on the life satisfaction among the elderly in Nigeria.
2. To find out if marital status affects the life satisfaction among the elderly in Nigeria.
3. To examine if the experience of gender discrimination have an impact on the life satisfaction among the elderly in Nigeria.
4. To determine the influence of job status on life satisfaction among the elderly in Nigeria.
5. To find out the scale of the life satisfaction among the elderly in Nigeria.